Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Most Hours Worked Monthly Bonus

Abuse your employees' competitive natures
  (+5, -18)(+5, -18)(+5, -18)
(+5, -18)
  [vote for,

At the engineering firm where I work, each month most employees work at least *some* overtime.

Overtime is only approved if there is billable work available. Thus, for each hour of overtime worked, the company makes profit since the company makes more money from our consulting work than we lowly employees get paid.

This phenomenon led me to conclude that companies with similar policies could profit greatly if they created a monthly prize to be awarded to the employee that worked the most hours.

Presumably, many employees would work as much as possible (and more enthusiastically since they are competing for a prize, thus more productively) which would greatly outweight the cash spent on the prize each month.

This prize could be something as individually appealing but trivial to the company as $1000 cash.

Thank you for your comments. Please leave your morals at the door.

victor, Aug 17 2007


       This would be slightly worse than the current situation of bonuses awarded at the management's discretion. Right now, you have to convince people that you're actually doing something important well; with this concept, you'd just have to stay longer.
jutta, Aug 17 2007

       I've worked with those before that equate time to worth. I prefer the rationale that you can get all your work done effectively and go home early, thus meriting extra reward.
normzone, Aug 17 2007

       You qualify for two bones from me.   

       1 - any idea promoting more work is autobonable.   

       2 - You overstep your own moral authority asking me not to bring my values with me wherever I go.
globaltourniquet, Aug 17 2007

       Reason 1 is more than enough for a fishbone...
theleopard, Aug 17 2007

       in general I have found that such bonus's or incentives tend to promote dishonest behavior(ie clockwatching) "if I just stretch this bit of work out I can get an extra hour on the day" What often occurs is that the number of hours begins to increase while the billable work stays about the same. In the Lab industry we have a sophisticated data system that permits us to accurately watch the actual production statistics and see the phenomenon occur(it also happens a lot during the off season. Hours stay high, but work drops way off)
jhomrighaus, Aug 17 2007

       If I get as much work done as you in an 8 hour day, do I get a bonus as well for not having to be paid overtime?
Giblet, Aug 18 2007

       presenteeism [-]
pertinax, Aug 18 2007

       Rewarding hours is a dumb idea.   

       Employees would just sit around until 11pm playing around on the internet, after finishing their day's work.   

       Why not reward performance instead?
kinemojo, Aug 18 2007

       Where I live, cops wait until the end of their shift then troll for illegal aliens. If they get one driving a car it's at least three hours DOUBLE overtime (waiting around for the vehicle to be towed to impound followed by processing the 'perp' and reams of paperwork). Your tax dollars at work ...
nuclear hobo, Aug 18 2007

       [kinemojo]: I reckon his company uses this scheme, and people don't play games on the internet. They go to the HB in that time and post ideas...
Germanicus, Aug 18 2007

       So, not a system of custard-flavoured sexual lubricants for the deaf after all, then?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 19 2007

pertinax, Aug 20 2007

       A dreadful idea. Hours worked is rarely a good indicator of productivity. In the the software industry the guys who do heroic hours tend to get tired, write loads of bugs and spend the next 6 months fixing them. If a guy does 30 hours of quality work in a week, he's a valuable employee.
DrWotsit, Aug 20 2007

       how very biblical, [lt_fr]. anyone can wait out a clock, [vic]. some call it 'work,' the rest of us are more honest and call it a 'job.'
k_sra, Aug 20 2007

       My main employer is actively campaigning *against* the long-hours culture. Which is one of the reasons they are my employer of choice.
wagster, Aug 20 2007

       <pedant> sp: shekel </p>   

       [+] The idea, as posted, would work. Morally suspect, certainly. I suggest that people are boning the behaviour it encourages, rather than the idea itself?
david_scothern, Aug 20 2007

       Employees should be measured by the quality of their work, not the amount of time they spent doing it. Billing methods that involve man-hours indicate a lack of effort producing meaningful metrics for the work itself. Bone.   

       If said prize were awarded to metrics of both quality and quantity, this would be a wonderful idea.
ed, Aug 20 2007

       [david], people are boning the morally suspect aspect of it (despite the request in the final sentence, and rightfully so), certainly, but they are also boning the idea itself, because in fact it would certainly not work, which had been stated here about forty two times. "Not work" is the operative term.
globaltourniquet, Aug 20 2007

       The complete reverse of this idea could work better - reward the employee who works the *fewest* hours per week (while still completing all their tasks to standard). That would reward employees who find more efficient ways to complete tasks, and those efficiency gains would be valuable when applied across the organisation. Work smarter not harder.
imaginality, Aug 20 2007

       The prevailing system is one whereby bonuses are awarded according to performance, whilst hours worked tend to get ignored. If you could cap the hours employees are *allowed* to work (like the much ignored European Work Directive) then everyone would work the same amount and the more efficient would get rewarded.   

       Or they could make everyone self-employed, avoid any responibility for workers welfare and pay them according to how useful they are at the time. Which is what they're doing.
wagster, Aug 20 2007

       For those saying that people would simply stretch their work to fill more hours, I give you:   

       (drum roll please)   

       The competent manager!   

       I don't know how it is where you work, but where I work each project is divided into some number of smaller tasks, and each of those tasks have a certain fixed maximum number of hours. If you "stretch" those, you'd eventually get fired for going over budget.
victor, Aug 21 2007

       The prize is that you get to keep your job at the end of the month.
nihilist13, Aug 22 2007

       Despite being the least efficient member of your team. Yep, sounds about right.
Texticle, Aug 23 2007

       Apart from the occasional short-term crisis, if a company needs people to work lots of extra hours then either it isn't employing enough people or it's taking on too much work. In either case the problem is with the management not the employees.
DrBob, Aug 23 2007


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